Of course all the news pales in comparison to the successful raid by a group of Navy Seals that ended in the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Unlike Rashard Mendhenhall, I have no ambivalent feelings about it.
So on with the other things that happened in the tech and travel sectors:
- There was a lot of over-reaction to the Amazon EC2 that pulled down Foursquare, Quora and Reddit and other sites last week. But it’s awful easy to put the blame solely on the cloud provider or attribute it to the concept of cloud computing in general. But I agree with Adron Hall’s take: “If you’re site is down because of a single point of failure that is your bad architectural design, plain and simple.”
- Gaming the system. Great phrase. Now SERKO’s introducing gaming into their booking tool to reward users for staying in compliance with company travel policies.
- For all the negative reviews that the Blackberry PlayBook got (deservedly so for rushing an incomplete product to market), the sales of the first Android Honeycomb-based tablet, the Motorola XOOM, have been…let’s say “disappointing”. Or terrible. You pick the adjective you feel more comfortable with.
- Price fixing is such a loaded term. Rate parity is a common goal for hoteliers and many other retail sectors. But is it illegal? It looks like we’ll find out soon as the UK’s Office of Fair Trading is looking into the matter. Tnooz obtained a series of emails that shed’s some light on what’s going on.
- Developers determine whether a platform is successful or not. And right now things don’t look good for Windows Phone7 and Blackberry.
- I always thought that airline retailing was a little strange (maybe a lot). It’s one of the few retail products that doesn’t use a discount/margin mechanism to compensate its channel for their effort and increase the profitability to the supplier for direct sales. At least I’m no longer alone. Forrester’s Henry Harteveldt made the suggestion that the airline industry look as a traditional retail model during his keynote at the Open Travel Advisory Forum. Here are some other highlights of Henry’s speech.
- Everybody knew that Symbian was toast in the age of the smartphone. Nokia knew and so they put their efforts into MeeGo as the next generation OS. That was until they realized it was going nowhere too. So they crafted a deal to license Microsoft to bet the future on Windows Phone7. But perhaps the people at Accenture didn’t get the memo. Because they just acquired (paid?) the Symbian technology from Nokia – and the 3,000 people who were working on it. And now Accenture says it will play a key role in their mobility services. Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like someone buying a quill factory to compete with digital publishers. More likely than not, it’s so that Accenture can extend the ‘life’ of their existing Symbian professional services business that they bought from Nokia in 2009. So if it cost them nothing great. Or maybe they know something we don’t.
- Tnooz reports that Expedia is making big bets on their new technology platform. What’s most curious about the announcement is that there are few clues to what that technology really is (except for the drag on earnings that the cost of development was). However, the results at Hotels.com, attributed to the new platform, inspire some confidence. But this quote from Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi almost makes me laugh: “We will be surprised if it doesn’t work.” Most people expect their plans to work and are surprised when they don’t. I’m sure the guys at Nokia felt the same way 😉
- To the delight of many users, Yahoo has sold Delicious, the popular social bookmarking technology to some of the founders of YouTube. Did you panic and transfer all your bookmarks to a different platform when Yahoo first announced they were shuttering Delicious?
- Luxury vacation rental and trip management service Inspirato picks up $11M in funding.